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Kassi RiceMrs. SchmitzAdvanced Comp25 January 2016Targeting AgriculturalistsIn recent years consumers, chain resturants, animal activists and others have began targeting the Agriculture industry in many ways.  Farmers and producers in Agriculture are constantly being ridiculed and bad mouthed about things the industry relies so heavily on to be successful.  Just one of these things is the use of GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms.  Some others include, the use of Antibiotics (medicine given to animals that are ill), as well as the treatment of the land and livestock (“American…”).  If you ask a farmer these theories of agriculture harming the consumers, livestock, and land they would tell you how those ideals are wrong in more ways than one.  Being a person in agriculture myself I have grown up around livestock and farming my entire life and and I am passionate about supporting agriculture and sharing with uneducated consumers what we farmers actually do and how we and what we do are extremely important to the world.  The general public is simply not informed on the matter and therefore, take the uneducated, anti-agriculture, stance (“Arguments…”).  The use of Genetically Modified Organisms better known as GMOs is a controversial topic amongst many.  GMOs are are living organisms that have had their genetic material artificially manipulated through genetic engineering.  There are typically two sides to the GMO argument.  The pro GMO side and the anti-GMO side.  Through years of research and data collection there is much more data to back up those supporting being Pro-Gmo (“The Facts…”).  Nine Billion people, that is how many people are projected to be living in the world by 2050.  It is the job of farmers and agriculturalists to be able to  feed these people.  One way farmers plan to do this is by using GMOs.  GMOs are typically used in in crops such as corn and soybeans. They allow agronomist, people that work with seed and soil and the growth of plants, to manipulate certain traits to strive for the perfect organism. Some things that modifying genetics does includes: higher crop yields, more resilient, repellent of harmful pests.  These are all wonderful things, but the idea of modifying genetics scares consumers. They argue that what agriculturalist are doing to the crops is harmful to humans.  Some even firmly believe that some day it will come out that GMO products caused cancer.  GMOs are not a new concept but rather just something new people can worry about.  Farmers and agriculturalists have been using GMOs for well over 20 years (“National…”). According to many GMOs are not only bad for people’s health but the land as well (“Arguments…”).  What people don’t know is that those statements could not be more false.  As GMOs actually benefit the land in several ways.  GMO crops have been bred to defend itself from pest as well as to grow to its highest potential therefore cutting down on fertilizers and pesticides put into the soil and onto the plants.  If we were not using GMO crops farmers would be causing much more polution in the world as they would be using much more harmful chemicals to spray on the crops and or inject into the soil. These chemicals can be harmful to breathe in as well as pollute the water supply. By making the plants stronger and pest resistant farmers are able to produce much more product that much more resilient, strong, and healthy than non genetically modified crops (“The Facts…”). Another way people target agriculture is through livestock.  Consumers and some chain restaurants are under the impression that what agriculturalists to do and with their livestock are bad or “inhumane” (“The Facts…”).  In recent years distributing companies have began trying to appeal to consumers by offering a “healthier alternative” for buyers.  One man in particular did this by advertising hormone free chickens in stores (“Iowa…”).  What this was was just a normal chicken raised just like any other chicken in the US, but it was sold in stores with an appealing label.  By labeling the chicken as “hormone free” uneducated consumers automatically assumed any other chicken sold in stores had been given hormones to aid in growth and production.  Little did they know that chickens are not ever given hormones.  Chickens do not live long enough to be given any type of hormone.  Average meat chickens live less than 12 months before they are ready to be butchered. Therefore with such a short lifespan it is not necessary for them to be given any growth hormones. They are simply fed well and have a high rate of gain per pound of food consumed (“American…”).  Props to the fella who came up with this marketing tool as it was something consumers would easily jump on and take off. Another problem agriculturalists producing livestock face is chain and fast food restaurants making statements like the following from the CEO of subway.   “SUBWAY® Restaurants announced today that it has elevated its current antibiotic-free policy. The brand recently communicated a commitment to transition to only serving chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. Today, the brand confirmed that it is beginning to transition to serving only protein from animals that have never received antibiotics” (“Subway…”). This press release created an uproar amongst the agriculture community. This is stating that Subway will no longer be purchasing any meat that came from an animal that had been given antibiotics. This sounds great for a consumer that has no idea what goes on in livestock production, but for those farmers and ranchers that raise cattle and hogs this statement only created harder times for them.  All livestock producers know that keeping their livestock and the consumer healthy and happy is their number one priority.  Antibiotics are one way producers are able to keep their animals healthy.  When people get sick they tend to go to the doctor.  When they go to the doctor the doctor tends to give the person some form of medication A.K.A antibiotics.  Veterinarians do the exact same thing for livestock (“Iowa…”).  It is simply a way to keep animals healthy to ensure a safe product for consumers.  All medicines and antibiotics have a mandatory withdrawal date.  A withdrawal is a time frame in which an animal is required to be off the medication before they are able to be slaughtered and processed.  By doing this it ensures that the meat consumers receive is 100% chemical and substance free (“Iowa…”). If the general public only knew the work and genuine care farmers and ranchers put into creating a safe wholesome product it would be much easier for producers to do their job and not have to worry about fighting off negative comments and other discrepancy towards what they do.  The job of agriculturalist to produce a product for consumer they should not have to deal with all of the negativity thrown their way as well. Works Cited”American Radioworks Presents : Engineering Crops in a Needy World : Feature Story.” American Radio Works Presents : Engineering Crops in a Needy World : Feature Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.”Arguments in Favour of Genetically-Modified Crops.” Arguments in Favour of Genetically-Modified Crops. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.”The Facts About GMO.” The Facts About GMO. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016″Iowa Beef Industry Council – Home.” Iowa Beef Industry Council – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.”National FFA Organization | Home.” National FFA Organization | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.”Subway Vows to Go.” “antibiotic-free” N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

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